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Climate Researchers Feeling Heat From White House 635

Posted by Zonk
from the get-up-there-and-talk-science-boy dept.
Jeff K writes "Facts and science collide with tribal loyalties, the Washington Post reports: 'Scientists doing climate research for the federal government say the Bush administration has made it hard for them to speak forthrightly to the public about global warming. The result, the researchers say, is a danger that Americans are not getting the full story on how the climate is changing.'"
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Climate Researchers Feeling Heat From White House

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  • by liliafan (454080) * on Thursday April 06, 2006 @09:40AM (#15075947) Homepage
    Is this really a shocker? Bush has had a policy of denying global warming is a result of humans, the fact he is giving the NOAA extra money for research rather than prevention is quite interesting, global warming is something that is happening.

    I remember years ago when the offical stance was there is no such thing as global warming, this has evolved to, there is no proof of global warming, to okay it exists but it isn't our fault, somehow I get the feeling the intention now is to attempt to prove it isn't caused by the biggest donators to the Bush administration.

    When the whitehouse and the pentagon started to open up and declassify documents all those years ago, it was a good thing it felt like finally they are opening up, now things are going back to feeling more like the cold war, a policy of secrecy, spying (although internally now rather than on a foreign element), lies, and gagging the people with important information.

    So as you feel your skin cancer forming and watch the ice caps come washing over us, just remember it isn't because of mankind, President Bush says so.
    • And I'm sure BushCheneyCo (tm) and his big cabal of corrupt campaign contributors aren't responsible for previous warming (and cooling) periods either... They say they aren't, so that means they really must be cause anyone who says their not all dirty profit driven corporate beholden liars is either bought out by them or is so dumb they've been duped by BushCheneyCo (tm) and his big cabal of corrupt campaign contributors.

      At the risk of destroying the effectiveness of my post I'd like to clarify that that wa
      • Reality check, I am not saying that the current President is responsible for global warming, what I am saying is their supporters (oil and energy producers) do not want to accept any responsibility for it, this would cost them huge amounts of money to help fix a problem they helped cause.

        I am in no way blaming the current administration for global warming, I do accuse them of covering up and protecting the people that have contributed to it though, if the oil companies had to pay out to help clean up their
    • by smooth wombat (796938) on Thursday April 06, 2006 @10:06AM (#15076228) Homepage Journal
      Of course! It's no different than the ID vs. Evolution nonsense. They keep moving the goalposts everytime new information is gathered and presented.

      The recent posting [slashdot.org] about a new fossil link between water creatures moving onto land is the classic example (as is archaeopteryx). Such a creature was predicted both in the evolutionary path as well as the geologic path. And the prediction was confirmed by the discovery.

      But the IDers will now say (and this was discussed ad nauseum in the postings) "Well what about the creature that came before or after it? Where are those fossils?"

      So off the paleontologists go and find those fossils and the IDers repeat the same questions. Same thing here. The evidence for global warming continues to be found and expanded upon and every time the data is presented someone chimes in "But man can't affect the Earth! We're too small in the grand scheme of things."

      In 1815 Mt Tamboras eruption caused the year without a summer. It spewed out roughly 40 million tons of gases and ash from April through June. In one year man produces orders of magnitude more pollutants through the burning of fossil fuels than was done in those two months. Apparently it's ok for a volcano to influence the worlds climate but when man throws out, on a continuing basis, enormous quantities of pollutants every year, well that can't have an effect on the climate.

      It's time to get over ourselves. We are, to an extent, influencing global warming which may or may not be a natural phenomenon. These are facts which cannot be disputed. But as the parent poster said, as you watch the ice caps come washing over us, just remember it isn't because of mankind, President Bush says so.

      The really sad part is that if prevention or at least mitigation would take place it would provide a needed boost to employment in this country. Think of all the companies who would need to expand or be created to produce the pollution control products for factories and power plants. Think of all the people who be needed to service those products.

      If nothing else, think of the influx of taxes that the Republicans could use to create a bigger, more intrusive government. Think of the children and all that porn that could be banished from the interweb! Won't someone think of the children!

      • Of course! It's no different than the ID vs. Evolution nonsense.

        This statement on /. is getting to be like Godwin's Law. I'm hereby naming it "Martorana's Law" (that's my last name) - within any discussion of Science, there is an ~90% chance that someone will take the opportunity to take a swipe at ID.

        Don't get me wrong. I'm not an IDer. But for God's sake, this is flaimbait. An obvious attempt to get the discussion going again so mods can have fun down-modding any IDer into total oblivion while patting themselves on the back for being so enlightened, so much more intelligent than the masses.

        So "Martorana's Law" is now on the books. Slashdotters love to put down ID, even during a discussion on global warming or current administration corruption.

        Good job. Pat yourself on the back. So enlightened.

        • Don't get me wrong. I'm not an IDer. But for God's sake, this is flaimbait. An obvious attempt to get the discussion going again so mods can have fun down-modding any IDer into total oblivion while patting themselves on the back for being so enlightened, so much more intelligent than the masses.

          Okay, here I am. I'm a fundamentalist creationist. I believe the literal understanding of Genesis is the most likely explanation of what happened, although it may not tell the full story, and/or may be figurati

          • by gowen (141411) <gwowen@gmail.com> on Thursday April 06, 2006 @10:40AM (#15076639) Homepage Journal
            I believe the literal understanding of Genesis is the most likely explanation of what happened, although it .... may be figurative or symbolic or something.
            Look, if you truly believe the literal understanding of Genesis, then you don't think its figurative or symbolic. That's what literal means. It means "not figurative or symbolic".

            So, you either believe the literal word of Genesis, or you believe it might be figurative. And if you're truly a fundamentalist, its the former.
        • The logical fallacies used by the ID crowd are the same set of logical fallacies used to attack climate research, ergo, criticisms of ID pertain directly to the climate research debate.

          The enlightened person realizes this and points out the symmetry. That way, we can use the same logical basis for defeating these intellectually dishonest criticisms on climate research that we use to defeat ID.

          I'm sorry, but I don't think you've discovered the new Godwin here.
        • by misanthrope101 (253915) on Thursday April 06, 2006 @11:10AM (#15076971)
          The problem is that IDers are not just a bunch of harmless backwater hicks. They are actively trying to redefine the meaning of the word science. That statement is not hyberbole. The Kitzmiller decision is one good example -- it was admitted on the stand (by Behe) that for ID to qualify as science, then the definition of science would have to change. What it would change to would also include (also according to Behe) astrology.

          They are attempting to undermine the very basis of rational thought just because it doesn't align with what they think the Bible says. This is NOT new -- Luther himself called reason "Satan's whore." There is a long and rich tradition of anti-intellectualism in this movement, and the denial of global warming (and then the backup position, that humans aren't involved) goes hand-in-hand with Intelligent Design. Also involved here is the fact that most evengelicals (who make up the vast bulk of the ID movement) believe that Jesus is coming back during their lifetime--i.e. end-times are nigh. If you literally believe that you and yours will be raptured to Jesus in the next few decades, then don't you think that might just influence your views on the necessity of environmental activism? So flinging about the label of religious nutjob, while entertaining, is not by any means gratuitious.

          ID and "skepticism" over global warming are both integral parts of the same movement. This linkage is not figurative or polemical--we're talking about two fronts being fought by the same army. So bringing up ID in this context is nothing at all like calling someone a Nazi just because you don't like them.

          Yes, moderators land hard on ID proponents, just as they would if someone said "I don't buy it that germs cause disease," or, "I don't believe in continental drift--it's just a theory." The astounding arrogance and willful ignorance of ID proponents deserves to be modded down. Would you be for "teaching the controversy" to placate a group that wanted to displace the germ theory in favor of the idea that demonic possession causes illness? No, eventually you'd get snippy and start humiliating them in public, because it's just a stupid position to take.

    • by bobwoodard (92257) on Thursday April 06, 2006 @10:08AM (#15076252)
      Is this really a shocker? Bush has had a policy of denying global warming is a result of humans, the fact he is giving the NOAA extra money for research rather than prevention is quite interesting, global warming is something that is happening.



      From the article: "Although Bush and his top advisers have said that Earth is warming and human activity has contributed to this, they have questioned some predictions and caution that mandatory limits on carbon dioxide could damage the nation's economy."

      It doesn't sound like there's any denying going on, but rather a question regarding the impact?

      • by jc42 (318812)
        It doesn't sound like there's any denying going on, but rather a question regarding the impact?

        Actually, the Bush gang does seem to have wised up that the denial isn't really going over all that well. So they've switched to the traditional "Further research is needed" approach.

        "Yes, some scientists say there's warming, but they don't agree on exactly how much or exactly what the causes are. We should wait until the scientists can reduce their error estimates to zero and prove exactly what's happening. Unt
    • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn@nOsPam.gmail.com> on Thursday April 06, 2006 @10:09AM (#15076267) Journal
      It's easy to fault Bush and to make him sound like a two year old. Oftentimes, it just requires you to copy and paste something he said.

      But I would like to point out that there is a good article regarding this matter [factcheck.org] and it happens to take a look at it without political bias (if you believe that's possible).

      Essentially what I'm asking you is, "Would a Democratic president be doing anything differently?" That's hard to decide--both sides are all talk and no action on this subject.
      • Essentially what I'm asking you is, "Would a Democratic president be doing anything differently?" That's hard to decide--both sides are all talk and no action on this subject.

        whilst attempting not to get into a political discussion, I am not directly focusing on a political party here, just a particular individual, that I feel isn't exactly suited to his job.

        I am not saying democrats would be different but the individual leading them could be.
      • by ppanon (16583) on Thursday April 06, 2006 @10:56AM (#15076832) Homepage Journal
        Essentially what I'm asking you is, "Would a Democratic president be doing anything differently?" That's hard to decide--both sides are all talk and no action on this subject.

        Actually, the answer is quite clear on this. The last Democratic president was doing things quite clearly differently (i.e. supported Kyoto and didn't suppress embarrassing research results); it was a Republican Congress that blocked his efforts. The 2000 Democratic candidate is active in raising awareness of global warming. It's reasonable to believe that another Democratic president would do things differently as well.

        I'm tired of "the other side is just as bad" bullshit arguments. After the results of the 2000 elections, it should be pretty clear that that's not true. Most of the people who make those kind of claims are just trying to avoid moral responsibility for results of their (selfish) choices.
    • by Stickerboy (61554) on Thursday April 06, 2006 @10:32AM (#15076546) Homepage
      "So as you feel your skin cancer forming and watch the ice caps come washing over us, just remember it isn't because of mankind, President Bush says so."

      And global warming is linked to an incidence of skin cancer... how?

      I think you're referring to the ozone hole.

      That was the LAST Impending Global Catastrophe. Keep up with the times.
    • Not about truth (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Bombula (670389)
      The global warming issue is a textbook example of the very unfortunate and worrisome fact that politics is not about truth. It never has been. The same goes for religion. Back when religion and politics were the same thing (and as they still are in some parts of the world today), religion was able to claim the only authoritative access to Truth. But since science began soundly bitch-slapping religion in the arena of Truth in the last century or two, people have become increasingly jaded with both religi
    • The polar bears' ice sheet habitats are literally melting beneath them - putting polar bears at serious risk of extinction.

      The thick multi-year ice essential to polar bears has been shrinking 8 to 10 percent per decade, and already, an area of sea ice roughly equal to twice the size of Texas has melted away. Some studies forecast an ice-free Arctic in summer as early as 2050, spelling certain doom for polar bears.

      The effects of global warming on polar bears can already be seen in the western Hudson Bay,

  • by MECC (8478) * on Thursday April 06, 2006 @09:40AM (#15075951)
    "Although Bush and his top advisers have said that Earth is warming and human activity has contributed to this, they have questioned some predictions and caution that mandatory limits on carbon dioxide could damage the nation's economy."

    Of course, the cost of doing nothing is much lower in the long run.

  • do they care? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by P3NIS_CLEAVER (860022) on Thursday April 06, 2006 @09:41AM (#15075952) Journal
    It doesn't appear that US citizens even care about global warming. Maybe work on this first, or is the Federal goverment responsible for public morals?
    • Re:do they care? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by RingDev (879105) on Thursday April 06, 2006 @09:47AM (#15076022) Homepage Journal
      US Citizens follow the media. If the media doesn't report on it, the average US citizen doesn't have a clue. Getting global warming topic into class rooms and into the media is the key to getting Americans active.

      -Rick
      • Except that is happening,. global warming is a pretty big topic, the public simply doesnt care. to quote lord of war. "why worry about something that can kill you in 10 years, when there are so many things that can kill you now" That is the public attitude, and lack of information has nothing to do with it.
      • Getting global warming topic into class rooms

        Ah, so we should be telling government employees what they should talk about.

        Wait...

    • Re:do they care? (Score:4, Informative)

      by artlogic (819675) on Thursday April 06, 2006 @09:50AM (#15076044) Homepage

      It doesn't appear that US citizens even care about global warming. Maybe work on this first, or is the Federal goverment responsible for public morals?

      Actually, according to http://science.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=06/04/0 4/1154214 [slashdot.org]:

      "A recent poll published in the Chicago Sun-Times now shows that 'An overwhelming majority of Americans think they can help reduce global warming and are willing to make the sacrifices that are needed, a new poll shows. After years of controversy, 71 percent of Americans now say they think global warming is real."

      I'd say the public's morals are just about right, and it's time for the government to take notice and change its backward policies.

      • Yes, politicians could do something about this and they could really get something done. However, this is not how modern politics works. These days, the idea is to pick a wedge issue that is unlikely to ever be solved, and campaign on that.

        On the surface, global warming would seem to be an ideal issue for this, since it's not likely to be solved for a while, but it's also not divisive enough. You can't really play on peoples' religious fervor on any side of the issue: the Bible doesn't say a whole lot a
      • The 71% number is interesting.

        The most amusing (and truthful) analysis of Bush's recent poll numbers state 1/3rd of the country thinks he's boiled evil, another 1/3rd has a maliable opinion, and the remaining 1/3rd would eat glass before saying ANYTHING against a Republican administration.

        So, it leaves only 29% sticking by Bush/Cheney and their "conservation is a personal virtue but bad public policy" viewpoint. On the surface Bush tried to communicate some conservation goals, but they are the equivalent

      • Re:do they care? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Cornflake917 (515940) on Thursday April 06, 2006 @10:42AM (#15076665) Homepage
        "A recent poll published in the Chicago Sun-Times now shows that 'An overwhelming majority of Americans think they can help reduce global warming and are willing to make the sacrifices that are needed, a new poll shows. After years of controversy, 71 percent of Americans now say they think global warming is real."

        I really wish that this meant that Americans actually care about global warming, but think about this for a second. What is our voter turnout rate? Less than 50% right? However, just about everyone has an opinion about the gov't. They want something done and they bitch about it, but they never actually DO anything about it. Sure, maybe we can get most Americans to turn down their thermostat 2 degrees. But what if they had to give up their precious SUV's? Just because people say they are willing to make sacrifices doesn't mean they will.

        But because of this, I couldn't agree more that the government needs to change it's policies.
    • Re:do they care? (Score:4, Informative)

      by WankersRevenge (452399) on Thursday April 06, 2006 @09:51AM (#15076061)
      do you and the idiot moderator even read this site [slashdot.org]?
    • Re:do they care? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Scarblac (122480)
      They don't care because they think it's not serious, or not happening at all. I'd say that informing citizens about upcoming disaster is a government responsibility.
    • No they aren't responsible for giving the public morals, but they are responsible for helping focus research and (for this government especially) controlling the information that flows to the public. The citizens make their moral decisions based on the information given to them and if the research money isn't there and if the pressure is there to adjust the way that the results of the research that is done are presented, then the government can affect what people consider to be important. And it's laughabl
    • I think we do not believe it exists. Every argument that it is a real phenomenon that is out of control, comes packaged with some pseudo-religious viewpoint about how we should live life.

      It could be real, but the message isn't getting heard through the bullshit.
    • One could argue that a core responsibility of leaders i to inspire people to care about the right things...
  • by tpgp (48001) on Thursday April 06, 2006 @09:42AM (#15075964) Homepage
    The result, the researchers say, is a danger that Americans are not getting the full story on how the climate is changing.'"

    You only have to read a slashdot story on Climate Change (and the amount of time posters call it "global warming" to know that the vast majority of people all over the world are not getting the full story on climate change.

    I'm more worried about the current administration's failure to legislate forced change to energy (particularly oil & gas) consumption, then I am about the American public's lack of awareness of the facts.
    • by dajak (662256) on Thursday April 06, 2006 @10:52AM (#15076782)
      You only have to read a slashdot story on Climate Change (and the amount of time posters call it "global warming" to know that the vast majority of people all over the world are not getting the full story on climate change.

      I'm more worried about the current administration's failure to legislate forced change to energy (particularly oil & gas) consumption, then I am about the American public's lack of awareness of the facts.


      It's a classic free rider problem [wikipedia.org] and therefore a responsibility of government. It's also a worldwide free rider problem, where individual countries can choose to be a free rider.

      The vast majority of people is not competent to judge what is happening. As always, people will believe the story if they believe in the authority of the messenger. In many countries in Europe, the climate change story has been adopted as fact for some time by governments, media, and meteorological services. In the US it hasn't.

      The willingness to act on climate change obviously also depends on the consequences. In the Netherlands the government is already investing billions to deal with higher sea levels and more river water than was projected in the past. The last two decades have been so extremely wet that it cannot be a coincidence anymore according to the national meteorological service.
  • by farker haiku (883529) on Thursday April 06, 2006 @09:43AM (#15075980) Journal
    "There has been a change in how we're expected to interact with the press," said Pieter Tans, who measures greenhouse gases linked to global warming and has worked at NOAA's Earth System Research Laboratory in Boulder for two decades. He added that although he often "ignores the rules" the administration has instituted, when it comes to his colleagues, "some people feel intimidated -- I see that."

    I think I like this Pieter Tans guy. I think there needs to be more scientists^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H people like him, who don't allow their convictions to be challenged by the administration.
    • If you Google about for him, you get some interesting stuff [gcrio.org]:

      DR. WATSON: A question for Pieter Tans. What if we don't want carbon dioxide to increase to more than one thousand parts per million? For example, what if we want to keep CO2 from exceeding 450, what is the implication for burning all the fossil fuels?

      DR. TANS: It would be Draconian. I showed the real long term effect of it. If we want to keep CO2 below 450 ppm permanently, I guess we would have to stop just about today, almost.

      And another i

  • by maxwell demon (590494) on Thursday April 06, 2006 @09:45AM (#15075998) Journal
    ... the RIAA and MPAA got the White House to hide the fact that global warming is caused by a lack of pirates ...
  • by digitaldc (879047) * on Thursday April 06, 2006 @09:47AM (#15076020)
    Come on guys, your scientific research is all flawed. There is no such thing as global warming! You need to go back, and do some more studies.

    Why do you keep saying that the clima....*GLUB* *GLUB* *WHOOSH* *FLUSH* *GURGLE* *BUBBLE* *pop*
  • Seems familiar (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ucaledek (887701) on Thursday April 06, 2006 @09:47AM (#15076025)
    Not to draw TOO many parallels, but remember when Galileo et al gave scientific findings that the governing powers didn't like? One of the causes, I feel from experiences with research, for the acceleration of scientific discovery is the change from a few centuries ago when science was done at the behest of the wealthy/powerful for status. As science was removed from the political, innovation and creativity flourished. This seems a bad sign of a growing politicization of scientific research, which is what kept things so slow for so long.
    • Don't be unfair. Sure, the Church exiled Galileo, demanded he publicly recant his heretical theories, banned all his works, and made him live out his final years in house arrest, but at least they apologized for it. Sure, it was a slow apology taking about three centuries, but still.

      I'm sure the government of Waterworld in 2350 or so will look back on us vaguely apologetically while recycling their own urine into drinking water.
    • Not to draw TOO many parallels, but remember when Galileo et al gave scientific findings that the governing powers didn't like?

      Yes, but he was dealing with a bunch of midaeval religious fanatics.

      As science was removed from the political, innovation and creativity flourished.

      Science has always been political; probably always will be. Perhaps you mean "as the supression of politically unacceptable experimental results decreased".

      • Yes, but he was dealing with a bunch of midaeval religious fanatics.
        Yeah, as opposed to modern day religious fanatics. Most of whom are Bush supporters.

        Yup, evangelicals love Bush.
  • Bush is evil, yes, yes, but stop blaming him for Global Warming.

    You want the truth? This is *my* fault. In fact, just yesterday I noticed the bathroom light was on, and I figured "oh well, not worth getting up" and left it on.

    Anyone under the age of 30, intelligent enough to use a computer, who intentionally reproduced despite the COMMONLY UNDERSTOOD STATE OF AFFAIRS, should be very, very ashamed of themselves. Anyone attempting to "play dumb" or "blame politics", doubly so.

    • Re:Don't blame Bush! (Score:3, Interesting)

      by CRCulver (715279)

      Anyone under the age of 30, intelligent enough to use a computer, who intentionally reproduced despite the COMMONLY UNDERSTOOD STATE OF AFFAIRS, should be very, very ashamed of themselves.

      The thing about us nerds, though, is that we usually have a strong belief in the power of Man to improve his lot through technological innovation. There's no reason that you can't fit more people on Earth, we just have to take the initiative towards a more environmentally friendly use of technology. If you like science-

  • by NoData (9132) <_NoData_@yahoo.cNETBSDom minus bsd> on Thursday April 06, 2006 @09:51AM (#15076055)
    I thought that this was a dupe [slashdot.org], but then I realized it's the same tactics, different agency. Just our lovely administration "staying the course" on being "good stewards" of the environment.
  • by argoff (142580) on Thursday April 06, 2006 @09:52AM (#15076075)
    In all fairness, nobody talks about how government orgs like the EPA allocate funds for climate reasearch with heavy biases in favor of research that tends to promote the necissity of a larger EPA. But then when it goes the other way around, people scream bloody murder.

    Get the government money out of the freakin cliamte research studies to begin with, and they might actually become credible.
    • Get the government money out of the freakin cliamte research studies to begin with, and they might actually become credible.


      Yeah, let coorporations pay for climate research studies, that'll make them a lot more credible!
    • by GOD_ALMIGHTY (17678) <curt,johnson&gmail,com> on Thursday April 06, 2006 @10:28AM (#15076501) Homepage
      In all fairness, nobody talks about how government orgs like the EPA allocate funds for climate reasearch with heavy biases in favor of research that tends to promote the necissity of a larger EPA.

      How is that fair when it ignores the peer review process that is designed to eliminate these biases?

      Get the government money out of the freakin cliamte research studies to begin with, and they might actually become credible.

      Straw man. You give no explanation as to how they are not credible, nor do you state how a non-government entity would be able to avoid this charge of budget increase bias. If one was to look at the credibility of the Bush Administration vs. the credibility of NOAA and EPA scientists, I don't see a scenario where the Bush Administration has higher credibility.

      The GOP has been cynically playing the role of the skeptic, but they are not offering rational criticisms, just hyperbole and rhetoric. This is an old tactic of theirs, they prey on the idea that to be intellectually honest, one must consider all evidence and the misunderstanding that induction increases scientific knowledge. They do not offer counter evidence, or attempt to falsify the claims of climatologists, they attack the integrity of the climatologists using the old trick of infinite logical regression. Using infinite logical regression exposes the logical fallacy of justified knowledge, the root cause of the problem of induction. The Bush Administration and it's allies have simply not offered scientifically valid criticisms, yet they claim that they are correct in a matter of science.

      The only way to defeat this utter absurdity is to realize that science does not rely on induction. They have not falsified theories on global warming, they have only attacked the inductionist view of the evidence pertaining to climate change. Unless you believe that scientific knowledge is increased by induction (a logical fallacy), their criticisms are useless to furthering the search for truth on climate change.

      This is either more incompetence or dishonesty on the part of the Bush Administration. As before, neither is acceptable.
  • by dada21 (163177) <adam.dada@gmail.com> on Thursday April 06, 2006 @09:52AM (#15076078) Homepage Journal
    This story has a "both sides of the coin" situation to me, and one HUGE reason why I absolutely despise government financing and control of research. To say the Bush Administration is the problem is to ignore the reality of government -- it is seemingly all powerful, very corrupt, very easily manipulated if you have the cash, and never thinking about its citizens as individuals, just as voting groups.

    Clinton was no better, no matter what the Progressives might say. This is the reason guys like this run for office -- to change the climate of thinking in the US and in the World. When it comes to public opinion, you may win on occasion when the big guys pick your side, you may lose on occasion. But when it comes to reality, you'll always lose -- the politicians will never do things the way you want them to, and they usually have hidden reasons for doing what they do.

    If this doesn't help prove the case for withdrawing federal funding of research (and arts and dozens of other areas) to better allow researchers to publicize evidence for their beliefs, I can't think of what will.

    There is no federal mandate for financing science or art or anythink of the sort, and the reason for it was so that the science and the art wouldn't be corrupted by opinion or political control.
  • Politics aside... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by GrayCalx (597428)
    Really, politics aside, all I hear about lately is Global Warming. Ever since Gore had his big push when The Day After Tomorrow came out, it seems like its all i ever hear anymore. Time and Newsweek just gave Global Warming their covers recently... I just don't see how theres information out there that isn't getting to me. At least information i could understand, I don't need up to the minute global-current charts.
  • Offtopic (Score:3, Interesting)

    by PinkyDead (862370) on Thursday April 06, 2006 @10:00AM (#15076144) Journal
    Some time after the fall of the Soviet Union, I had the pleasure of travelling on a Yugoslavian passenger ship. One of the crew was the designated Political Officer - strangest thing - he was just there to make sure the crew didn't say the wrong thing to the western tourists. He was really nice bloke, and well able to throw back a pint but it just seemed a little strange.

    Obviously, this is just an 'interesting' travel anecdote - and has nothing to with anything here.
  • If you get drowned, you just weren't praying hard enough and the Dear Lord decided you need some flood to cleanse you.

    You'd think New Orleans would've worked as a wake-up call, to show Bush that there IS actually some problem with the weather, and how we affect it. But I guess we should hope for some flood in his basement for a change to see some change in politics. Some people don't give a rat's bottom until it goes after their own rear.
  • by whitehatlurker (867714) on Thursday April 06, 2006 @10:03AM (#15076191) Journal
    The new Harper government in Ottawa has cut funding [www.cbc.ca] to groups studying climate change. That has to be as chilling as gagging scientists.
  • Don't worry everyone.

    The scientists have 65536 Pentium 4 processors working on the problem right now, each consuming 400W of power, all to model the earth and it's atmosphere in an effort to fortell the climate changes that are underway.

    10 40Ton Air conditioners are cooling the computer room where all this computing is going on. Safely venting the heat to the cool night sky.

    It won't be long before we can prove beyond a shadow of doubt that global warming is happening.

    We just need a few more coal pow

  • Rarely does an "environmentalist" asterisk or footnote ANY claim with:

    "These findings are carefully researched but only subjective ... it is not proven that global warming is a natural pattern of nature or a human population problem."
  • Why do we have the seperation between Church and State? We have it because when Church and State are merged, religion will be exploited to further the goals of those in charge of the state... and those that disagree with the religion of the ruling class will be persecuted.

    Most people (OK, not everyone) agrees that a seperation between Church and State is good, but that is because nowadays religion has become irrelevant. Sure, it is easy to keep the Church seperated from the State, because the Church is no l
  • by argStyopa (232550) on Thursday April 06, 2006 @10:18AM (#15076378) Journal
    "Climatological Cassandras are becoming increasingly apprehensive,
    for the weather aberrations they are studying may be the harbinger of another ice age." - TIME, Monday, Jun. 24, 1974

    But NOW (I understand) they're sure?

    Let's just point out:
    "From around 150,000 to 130,000 years ago, North America experienced colder and generally more arid than present conditions. About 130,000 years ago, a warm phase slightly moister than the present began, and conditions at least as warm as the present lasted until about 115,000 years ago. Subsequent cooling and drying of the climate led to a cold, arid maximum about 70,000 years ago, followed by a slight moderation of climate with a second aridity maximum around 22,000-13,000 14C years ago. Conditions then quickly became warmer and moister, though with an interruption by cold and aridity in many areas around 11,000 14C years ago."
    (Jonathan Adams, Environmental Sciences Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory)
    http://www.esd.ornl.gov/projects/qen/nercNORTHAMER [ornl.gov] ICA.html [ornl.gov]

    Does the temperature seem to be moving up lately? Yep.

    Beyond that, it seems to be a huge guessing game: are humans responsible for the current warming? (personally, I think we probably contribute significantly to it)

    Is warming a catastrophe? Even IF you buy into the Cassandras, for every "coral reef is gonna die because the water's too warm!" it's hard to believe that there's not a corresponding expansion (northward) of coral-reef-able zones. For every acre of expanded desert, there's another acre of former-tundra that now has a growing season.

    And don't even get me STARTED on "cities will flood" crap. Duh? For ANY city in any location, over a long enough span of time, the odds of it surviving unscathed are ultimately zero. Nobody built the big cities (generally starting as a cluster of wooden huts around a river or nice bay) with an eye toward their long term survivability - NOBODY. To presume at this point that we need to exert every effort to somehow FREEZE Earth's dynamic climate to accomodate habitation choices made 000's of years ago?

    That's just stupid.
  • Marketing (Score:3, Insightful)

    by silverbax (452214) on Thursday April 06, 2006 @10:22AM (#15076417)
    Some marketing professionals have stated that the reason people in the U.S. don't care about global warming is because of how it's presented: global is good, warming is good, how can 'global warming' be so bad? They should call it what it is: 'atmosphere cancer', 'oxygen rot' or 'Earth decay'.
  • White House Effect: The phenomenon whereby government agencies trap climate control funding, caused by the presence in the atmosphere of Republican FUD that allows donator-friendly information to pass through but absorbs evidence radiated back from concerned scientists. (original definition [reference.com])
  • by apsmith (17989) * on Thursday April 06, 2006 @10:31AM (#15076527) Homepage
    If anybody has any doubts about the science, please take your pick of the following three sites - all excellent material, from historical, science, and political perspectives:

  • On The Plus Side ... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by rewinn (647614) on Thursday April 06, 2006 @10:31AM (#15076533) Homepage

    The deliberate intrasigience of the feddies is not the last word. Technology to combat catastrophic climate change is the next big economic opportunity. The only question is whether we make it here and sell it there, or vice versa.

    As long as our political leadership are tied to old-fashioned energy sources, they have no incentive to develop & implement the new technologies that will replace the old ... it's a classic "Innovator's Dilemma" [businessweek.com].

    And it has an "Innovator's Dilemma" solution: outsiders develop small, nimble technologies, some of which fail, some of which succeed; eventually they eat the dinosaurs (...sorta like the desktop PC in the era of the mainframe.) You, yourself, can probably figure out a few clever ways to create or implent a green tech in your own city. Give it a try! [A few suggestions here] [rewinn.com]

    What is better than making an honest buck while thumbing your nose at the anti-scientists!

  • by mOOzilla (962027) on Thursday April 06, 2006 @11:10AM (#15076958)
    This is something that is affecting us all and beyond. Can the rest of the world not sanction the US on these issues?
  • Sciam (Score:3, Informative)

    by Gat0r30y (957941) on Thursday April 06, 2006 @11:23AM (#15077102) Homepage Journal
    Scientific American [sciam.com] Did a great article recently on how the Bush Administration has been censoring scientific reports to fit thier particular agenda. It seems an oilman doesn't want oilmen to look like bad people. Who would have guessed? LINK TO ARTICLE [sciam.com]

"If truth is beauty, how come no one has their hair done in the library?" -- Lily Tomlin

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